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Educational Play with Schleich I'm a big fan of learning through play. Unforced educational play. I'm not a teacher and I don't want to be. I want my children to naturally learn whilst they are having fun. When I was contacted recently...

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Say Eh-Oh to the new Teletubbies toys! There back!! Teletubbies made a joyous return to CBeebies last year, and this year marks the launch of the new range of toys. As you know I was sent a box just before Christmas, and today I can finally...

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Travel: Ox Pasture Hall Hotel, Scarborough Last weekend Nana and I took a rather lengthy journey north for a night away at the Ox Pasture Hall Hotel in Scarborough, with Little Dude in tow. The Ox Pasture Hall Hotel is a luxurious country hotel...

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A Place To Enjoy My Garden I love my garden. I love the fact that I have a garden, especially with the recent gorgeous weather we've been having. Whilst I have a pretty compact garden, there's a lot going on out there. Plants, fruit...

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Cuddles With Ben Cohen Some days I have a really difficult job. Days like this for example. *Ahem* That rather nice young man is former rugby player Ben Cohen. Ben is a bit of an expert when it comes to cuddles. He has...

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HomeSense Brighton

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Competition, Home & Lifestyle, Information | Posted on 06-09-2013

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A few weeks ago the brand new HomeSense store opened in Brighton, just up the road from the existing TKMaxx Store. Unsurprisingly it was a rather popular event, as these images show.
brighton homesense openingI popped along recently to take a look at the new store and see what I could find on the shelves.

The store itself is in a great spot and a perfectly chosen building. Lots of glass allowing the light to flow in and illuminate the store which is spread across two floors. I have only been in one other HomeSense store and Brighton’s is much better. Its logically laid out and well stocked. The other store always tends to be chaotic, manic and unloved. I found a wealth of great bargains and quality products from some impressive brands in the Brighton store, and plenty to encourage me to return.

The kitchen department is my favourite, and probably one of the biggest. Great items from Le Creuset and Bodum stood out for me, as well as cookbooks from much loved chefs as well as hidden gems from lesser known people. If you want to bake a cake HomeSense is your destination for tins and pans in a huge range of shapes and sizes. Plastic storage boxes are also present in their multitude, along with a mind boggling array of gadgets and gizmos. I am terrible when it comes to kitchen bits and pieces and my kitchen is already groaning under the pressure. I tried my best to avoid buying the whole department.

Now HomeSense is all about finding something that little bit different, that little bit unique for your home without breaking the bank, as you can see from their new advert.

Well they’ve also teamed up with Abigail Edwards to provide you with some top tips from decorating YOUR home this year, whatever your style.

How to Achieve the ‘Urban Cool’ Look:

  • Keep it simple and slick using graphic shapes to achieve a minimalistic vibe
  • Look for accessories such as clean glass shapes, graphic cushions and simple accent colours

How to Achieve the ‘Country Chic’ Look:

  • Natural tones and textured fabric are essential for achieving a modern country look
  • Illustrated cushions and cut-out shapes add a contemporary twist
  • Try grouping lots of clocks together to make a room look more eclecti

How to Achieve the ‘Global Traveller’ Look:

  • Homeware items collected from your travels are ideal for achieving this look
  • Try layering cushions and rugs to achieve a naturel and thrown together feel
  • Don’t worry about mixing patterns – overlapping colours, shapes and different textures will add interest
  • Accessorise with imagery and vintage pieces you’ve gathered from places visited on holiday

Key Autumn Trends:

  • Texture
  • Weaves
  • Chunky knits
  • Mixing patterns
  • Tribal
  • Ombre

Tips for Easily Transforming a Room:

  • The easiest and most affordable way to style your home is by adding cushions and throws as it doesn’t affecting anything else in the room and it adds colour and texture quickly
  • Lighting also makes a massive difference so rather than having just one pendant light in the middle of the room, try having little table lamps dotted around and task lighting is also a good alternative
  • Filling a sofa with lots of different cushions is a quick way of changing the look of a room and adding a splash of colour
  • Pictures are another quick way of adding interest to your room

Feeling inspired? Well you can find more in the way of hints, tips and advice on HomeSense’s Twitter and Facebook pages. What’s even more exciting though is that I have a £50 voucher to give away to one reader, to spend in the new Brighton store. To be in with a chance of winning this voucher you need to comment on this post and tell me which look you’d like to achieve in your home this Autumn. Closing date for entries in Friday September 20th at 8pm and one winner will be chosen from all the entries and notified as soon as possible.

Event: Kiddicare Hedge End

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Blogger Event | Posted on 01-05-2013

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A week has past since the opening of the brand new Kiddicare store in Hedge End, near Southampton. I went down last week with Little Man to see this new store in action. Having never visited a Kiddicare store before I had no idea what awaited me – though I had heard lots of good things about other stores around the country. I’d used the online store before now though, so I was very excited to see what a store had to offer.

Upon arriving the first thing that we needed to do was go to the toilet. The changing facilities for Little Man were great – a room full of changing mats with mobiles above and discreet bins below made changing him quick and easy. The toilet facilities were excellent too. Each cubicle was big enough to fit a pram in as well – isn’t it a nightmare when you’re out with a child in a pram and you need to go to the toilet – and what I really loved was that the cubicles each had two toilets in: one for Mummy and a smaller ones for your little one. This would be ideal for when you both need to go so you’re not struggling in a tiny cubicle. There were then adult and child height basins to wash our hands, as well as step stools so little ones could reach. The store pretty much won me over just with this!

The store itself was immense – well stocked with everything you could need from conception upwards. If I was newly pregnant I think I’d have been overwhelmed with all the things on offer. There was a huge range of pushchairs and prams, from single buggies up to three seaters. All were available to test drive on their special track. Car seats were available for all stages, and they were fitted and checked for free in your vehicle. You could buy cloth and disposable nappies and all the accessories you’d need, as well as potties and steps for when you’ve moved on. I bought Little Man a My Carry Potty ready for our potty training adventure which will begin once we’re back from our holidays. High chairs and booster seats were also there in abundance, as well as a wide range of bedroom and nursery furniture. Then there were all the toys. Indoor, outdoor, wooden, plastic, soft toys, educational toys, and everything in between. Little Man spent a good twenty minutes playing on the toys on display, including rather a long time enjoying his first experience of a wooden train set. I was rather pleased to see it was from Big Jigs Toys.

The in-store cafe was lovely. It had those popular lunch boxes for children where you pick from a selection of items. It was good to see a mix of healthy choices as well as treats on offer. Little Man loves these boxes when we go out – its good for him to be able to choose what he wants, which invariably includes something chocolate based! There’s lots on offer for parents too, from cakes and snacks to lunches. The cafe has plenty of space for pushchairs and prams, and there are lots of highchairs available too. There’s even an enclosed play area so you can get some peace whilst you’re eating, with portholes so you can keep an eye on your little ones. In the cafe area you’ll also find a Nursing Nest, where you can go to breast or bottle feed in privacy.

The main thing that I found at Kiddicare was how much room there was. Wide aisles in the shopping area, plenty space in the cafe, and room in the toilets for prams and toddlers made it a great shopping experience. Clearly the team have thought of everything, and made sure that shopping there is a pleasant experience for everyone. Should I find myself pregnant again in the future, I think a trip to Kiddicare Hedge End will definitely be on my list of things to do. A brilliant day out for everyone.